"I Don't Like King Harish"
By Pastor Jim Jenkins
My four year old daughter had just heard a sermon on King Herod. In her best attempt to try and pronounce the name she said. "I don't like King Harish, Dad."
He was not even a Jew and yet he was "King of the Jews," a political hack who came to power as a result of the intrigues and power plays in Rome. Herod, an Idumean, hated where he was and what he did. This was stepping stone as far as he was concerned. His sole task in life seemed to be to cling to power and ruthlessly eliminate all rivals.
Like every dictator, he was absolutely paranoid. His secret border agents reported that a caravan of three well-appointed visitors had crossed the border and had claimed to have seen a star that portended the birth of the King of the Jews. Herod was so clued out about the history of the people over whom he ruled that he had to call the religious leaders to ask, "Who is this Messiah they keep talking about? Where does the prophecy say He will be born?"
When he learned it was Bethlehem, he dispatched his soldiers to go and kill all the baby boys born during the window of time that matched the wise mens timetable. I told my daughter, "I didn't like King Harish, either."
History has been, in one sense, a long attempt to eliminate the influence of the little baby born in Bethlehem. Every tyrant, every tin horn politician with visions of grandeur has been threatened by the Son of God. Three decades after surviving the attempt to eliminate him Jesus stood before another politician named Pontius Pilate. He said, "You would have no power over me unless it had been granted to you from above" and Pilate was afraid.
Herod? He died a horrible death after having murdered his wife and his son. I thought of Hitler, who ended up in a bunker blowing his brains out after having poisoned his dog to make sure the poison would work on his wife. Stalin also died a terrible death after having a lived in such fear of his enemies that he rarely slept in the same bed in a desperate attempt to avoid assassins.
Jesus? He promised He will come again. This time not as a baby, but mounted on a white horse with the armies of heaven . . . and on his thigh will be written King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
"For unto you this day a savior is born who is Christ the Lord." Tyrants still fear Him. Wise men still seek Him.
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